(SAN DIEGO) — Authorities in San Diego, California, believe they have finally caught the person responsible for a recent series of deadly attacks on the city’s homeless.
Anthony Alexander Padgett was arrested in Chula Vista, a city near San Diego, early Thursday morning after investigators received a tip from the public, according to the San Diego Police Department. The arrest came after police put out surveillance footage and stills earlier this week of a person they suspected in the attacks.
Padgett is accused of attacking four homeless people on four separate occasions this past week, police said at a news conference Thursday. The victims, all homeless people, were sleeping when they were allegedly targeted by the 36-year-old suspect, police said.
In two of the incidents, the victims were “lit on fire,” according to police. The brutal attacks left two homeless people dead and two others with life-threatening injuries. One of the survivors is not expected to live, authorities said.
Padgett was charged Thursday with two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of attempted first-degree murder and one count of arson to property, according to online inmate records provided by the San Diego County Sheriff’s Office.
As Padgett was taken to the San Diego jail Thursday evening in the back of a police car, he told an ABC affiliate KGTV reporter outside the car window, “I’m innocent.”
Padgett is expected to be arraigned Monday, according to Tanya Sierra, a public affairs officer for the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office.
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